Matsietsi Mokholo, the acting CEO of crisis-ridden state-owned regional airline SA Express, says its grounding by the Civil Aviation Authority will be costly and it will have to "claw back" lost market share. This comes less than a year after it failed to satisfy the auditor-general that it could continue as a going concern, even with its planes in the air. And five months after Mokholo admitted that the airline wasn't able to increase fares because it wasn't offering passengers a reliable service. "We're still quantifying the financial costs of the grounding, but I can tell you it is going to be costly," she says. The CAA grounded SA Express after finding its planes were not being properly maintained and were unsafe. Mokholo says its brand has taken a hammering and it will lose market share to competitors. Airlink has wasted no time filling the gap. "Competitors are beginning to claw into that space," she says. SA Express is going to have to "claw back" its market share from them. ...

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